President Nasheed today returned to Male’ after concluding his visit to the United States. He visited the Untied States to participate in the premiere of the documentary ‘The Island President’ in New York. During his visit to the US, President Nasheed met with officials of the United Nations and the State Department to discuss the ongoing political crisis in the Maldives.
In the meetings with the State Department, President Nasheed expressed disappointment on the US’ statement over the transfer of power on February 7, 2012, while encouraged that the US have now realigned their position based on facts on the ground. President Nasheed expressed deep concerns over the state of police and military in the Maldives. Referring to the mutinous police within the force, he briefed the State Department’s Wendy R. Sherman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, of the increased police brutality since 7 February. Furthermore, President Nasheed raised with the US State Department recent incidents with the Police where excessive force was used against peaceful demonstrators, such as the use of high pressure water on female protesters and the very serious accounts of sexual harassment on women detained from peaceful protests. The State Department assured they would closely monitor the political situation in the Maldives and would support to restore democracy in the Maldives.
During the visit, President Nasheed at various events spoke on the importance of being engaged in the climate change debate. In a meeting with the World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Mr. Andrew Steer, President Nasheed discussed the need to have a positive dialogue between the developed and developing countries to achieve a climate deal. The two highlighted the importance of changing climate politics to a positive one and switching to renewable energy to avoid a climate and an economic disaster.
During his visit to the US, President Nasheed also spoke at Columbia University on the politics and climate change in the Maldives. He also appeared in leading talk shows including the Letterman and the Daily Show.